These days, it seems that the icon “social media” is everywhere and everyone is asking you to ”Find us on Facebook”. Most recently, at their F8 developer conference, Facebook announced the launch of the new “Like” button which will allow users to “Like” content without even logging in to the platform. But what does this mean for you as a small business owner? How should you be utilizing this tool if at all? Is there real benefit to be had or is this just all hype? Here is a brief description to get you started.
Setting Up a Facebook Fan Page
A fan page is similar to a personal Facebook profile, but it allows you to setup a profile for your business rather than yourself. Similar to a website, a Facebook fan page allows you to display precisely what your business is all about, while communicating with an active audience of potential customers and existing customers.
Through your Facebook fan page, you can engage with your customers and alert them to your upcoming events and recent specials. You can also provide customer service by interacting with customers and responding to their questions and reviews. Check out the Yodle Facebook fan page to see an example.
Embedding the “Like” Button
By embedding the “like” button directly on your web page, you eliminate the number of steps that a customer must take to get connected with you and tell their friends about it. In addition, Facebook allows you to display a window sticker at your place of business, where a person can send a text message indicating that they are a fan. Once a user has clicked the “like” button, a message will display in their friends’ news feeds, announcing that they “like” your business.
In a recent letter Facebook sent out to business owners, they boasted that “businesses that promote their page off-Facebook tend to see a 20% or greater increase in connections. ” What a great way to get your name out there, and an even better way to show how many raving fans you have!
Managing Your Facebook Fan Page
Remember, the most successful fan pages are managed regularly and have new and interesting content that is posted frequently to ensure that fans return and stay engaged over time. You can share interesting articles about your business, create photo albums with pictures of your regular customers, and use the discussions tab to talk directly with your Facebook fans. You can even reward your fans by offering them a coupon exclusive for being a loyal Facebook follower (and this will also help you measure your results!)
Finally, you should be aware of the possibility that a customer could share negative feedback about an experience with your business. Be sure to respond quickly, but take the conversation off the public page and communicate with the fan in a closed message format.
Learning about Facebook Advertising
Along with Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing is an important part of building online presence for your brand. While traffic may not always correlate directly with increased sales, it allows you to communicate your message to your ideal customer. Capturing a customer’s contact and personal information is central to marketing success.
Facebook is an environment rich with detailed personal information that potential customers have chosen to share. The ability for customers and businesses to engage on this platform opens up a conversation between you and your customer that is similar to a distribution list. Because of the viral nature, customers can easily recommend your services to their friends. However, it is always best to “test and learn” when picking new advertising outlets.
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